One remembered the combination to my door, but forgot how to type it in... called a locksmith instead of calling me for help on Christmas day and then lied about it when she presented me with a $300 locksmith bill on top of the $400 I paid her to take care of the pets.
The other didn't return my calls or emails for three days after somebody tried to detonate a bomb in Detroit. I knew my flights would change - I'd likely get home later than expected - and I needed her confirmation that she could stay an extra night. Because I couldn't get a hold of her, I ended up paying an extra $200 and making a mad dash across Calgary in the middle of the night, to get home, instead of crashing at a friend's place for the night. She, at least, had the courtesy not to send me a bill after that mess up.
Regardless, I'm sure you can understand why I'd be reluctant to hire a pet sitter, having had these experiences.
I'm going to Kelowna next week. I could probably bring Tallulah, but Winter and Cotton would be miserable. I needed somebody to take care of the pets, so I ended up asking a friend of some friends to stay at my place. I don't know him well, but he's part of the crew who often goes out for dinner with us on Wednesdays. He seems like a good guy. Corey loves animals, and I've seen how responsible he is when he takes care of my friend Jen's bulldogs. And, since he seems to be between jobs more often than he's employed, I know he can use the money.
Arrangements were made. The nephews were informed of my pending visit, which means I can't back out, and I've been psyching myself up to make the 9 hour drive (each way) by myself. Then my pet sitter jinx kicked in.
Corey has recently started a new job with a road construction company. He's the flag guy. He had blocked off a road and was directing traffic to go around when a guy drove up in a truck. He parked the truck at the side of the road, got out and asked Corey to let him through. Corey explained that the road was closed and he'd have to go another way. Then the guy got back into the truck, pointed it at Corey, revved the engine and then drove full speed right into Corey.
Corey was rushed to the hospital. The police were called, and the driver was caught (charged). It's been a week or so now, and it's become apparent that Corey's back is all sorts of messed up and is going to need surgery soon.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, I understand that pet sitting is not and should not be Corey's top priority right now. I get that, and I feel all sorts of horrible for Corey. On the selfish side of things, though, I can't help but realize that once again, my plans for the reliable pet sitter have been screwed up. I'm going to be gone for five days next week, and now I need to find somebody else to take care of the pets.